Critical Approaches to Security Studies

Task 1: Analysis of Image 1500 words
Analyse the image down below. Discuss the following using these questions to help you think through the image (you do NOT NEED to answer each question, rather they are there as a prompt):
(1) what does this image suggest about ‘security’? (2) What themes, images and ideas are being represented here? (3) How do they relate to the idea of ‘security’? (4) What else is represented in this picture, and how? (5) Who or what is missing from the image, what is not being shown?
You must refer to some theoretical literature on visual security in this answer., e.g you could look at the visual security literature from the visual security class.
Members of the Obama administration watch the capture of Osama bin Laden, May 2011. Source and description:,29307,2069208_2271482,00.html
Task 2: Analysis of the speech 1500 words
THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS ARE GUIDELINES ONLY, they are there to help you think through some issues related to the text. You do not need to answer each question specifically.
• What kind of language is used?
• Are specific photographs or images used to illustrate the story, and to what effect?
• What is the focal point and why?
• Who, or what, is missing from the reporting?
• How does the news story construct and represent ideas about security, threat, fear and danger?
• What is the dominant frame used by the report to represent this issue, and why?
In your discussions, you must draw on one of the theoretical perspectives we covered this semester (e.g. constructivism, gender etc).
You must also use references, and cite your evidence, as well as provide a bibliography at the end. This will demonstrate engagement with literature and show supporting evidence for your arguments – you can hear more about this in the webinar recordings (‘General information about assignments’) above.
Marking Criteria
Marking Criteria
Marking Rubrics
Here are the marking rubrics we use when marking your assingments. Note – the comments next to each rubric name (structure, argument etc) are just illustrations of what that rubric might be referring to. They are not the only thing we look for in that section.
• Focus: is your assignment focused on the key points you are making, or do you have lots and lots of different points throughout?
• Argument: is your overall argument clear, and are your key points developed, or does your paper jump from point to point without developing a central discussion?
• Engagement with literature: are you engaging with wider reading, and key literature? Example: if you are talking about securitization, don’t paraphrase the lecture slides, but refer to existing literature on securitization.
• Use of evidence and examples: are you making arguments supported by evidence (sources, citations, existing literature) or, do your arguments look speculative?
• Structure: does your paper follow a clear structure? Is there an OVERALL structure, and are all your paragraphs clearly structured as well? Or, does each paragraph jump from point to point? Do your paragraphs going up and transition from one to the other clearly?
• Style: are you using the correct citation format? Has your assignment been edited so that it is clear, or does it contain l its of long unclear sentences with generalised terminology? (‘Lots of people think…’)

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